7 years and I still can't adjust my chain - Wrist Twisters
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post #1 of 16 Unread 09-15-2019, 11:03 PM Thread Starter
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7 years and I still can't adjust my chain

I have the same problem only worse on my CBR, 1/4" of free play on the right side of the axle that I can't get rid of.

- Loosen axle nut
- Left side of axle at the chain adjuster has no free play, set the tension from the left side.
- Right side moves back and fourth 1/4"
- Finger tighten the right adjuster counter-clockwise until it's snug. But then the wheel is out of alignment
- In order to loosen it, I have to turn the adjuster two revolutions clockwise nothing is happening before it starts to push the wheel towards front of the bike. I think this is where all the free play is but I don't understand why. If I go back out counter clockwise until it's snug I still have the 1/4" of free play.

I don't even know if the freeplay is my problem or not, all I know is 20 miles and it's loose and out of alignment time and time again.

2007 919
2003 CBR1100XX
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post #2 of 16 Unread 09-15-2019, 11:16 PM
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Don't know if this helps but once I get everything lined up and the axle nut torqued up I go and set the adjusters so that they are in opposite lock to one another and are set to oppose the axle under power. Never had it go out since doing this.

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post #3 of 16 Unread 09-16-2019, 05:10 AM
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To make sure it's aligned while tightening, use a rag between the chain and sprocket on the bottom side and roll the wheel forward to pull the axle tight to the adjusters. I hold tension while measuring the distance from back of the swingarm to the end of the adjuster with the depth gauge on vernier calipers.
I start with the right side in a bit too far. Hold tension with wheel and rag with my left hand and back out the right side adjuster and use vernier calipers with my right. Stop when you hit the number you're looking for. Keep holding the axle against the adjuster and swap the caliper for a torque wrench. Snug up the axle nut while continuing to hold... It should not have moved from your desired location. You can get it within a few thousands easily. Less, if you want.
As Islandboy said, opposite lock the adjusters with light but equal torque. Left, pull, counterclockwise- right, push, clockwise.

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post #4 of 16 Unread 09-16-2019, 05:21 AM
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I did a LOT of work on my 919 this year. New chain/sprockets, 3 different sets of tires, clutch, front/rear brakes and I'm redoing the forks this week.

When I had the rear tire off, I noticed that the adjuster had enough room for a lock nut. A thin nut that would go on the thread where you see the threads as you adjust them. This and a thin washer could be torqued against the end of the swing arm once you find the right spot for the adjusters.

I didn't have the right nut for this, but either a single nut or double nut should do the trick. I think (haven't verified) that an open end wrench would still fit in there as this would be a small nut.

TBH, I don't know why they move, they don't seem to move much but several people have reported that it goes out of adjustment.

The nuts that I'm talking about would be about 1/2 the thickness of a standard nut and would need to have a good flat washer so as to not dig into the aluminum swing arm. If you look at the number of threads you have exposed, you should have enough to get a nut in there, maybe two thin ones to lock against each other. A hardened washer should keep the swing arm intact.

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post #5 of 16 Unread 09-16-2019, 06:09 AM
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Something else I found that helps is make all your adjustments with some torque on the axle nut. Sort of holds everything in place, stops the freeplay slop.
As far as the alignment goes this is how I do it. Real simple.
I first set the correct chain slack and have the adjusters set equally on the marks. Then, by eye balling the chain running on the sprocket from the rear, I centre the sprocket. This is done as I'm spinning the wheel by hand and making small adjustments. It's often the most quiet spot too.
This is done with some torque on axle nut. To prevent axle slip if I need to reverse an adjuster bolt and take up the freeplay.
Once I'm happy I fully torque axle nut then set adjusters opposite lock.
Hope thats clear.
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post #6 of 16 Unread 09-16-2019, 09:42 AM
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When I first got my 919 more than 10 years ago I had an issue that the chain would not stay adjusted. It made no difference how I torqued the axle nut or played with the adjusters. Then, when I first replaced the tires and took the rear axle shaft out I found an issue.
While I had been properly setting the chain free play and tightening the axle shaft nut, the nut and washer were bottoming on the axle shaft shoulder and not creating sufficient clamp load to hold the shaft in place. It would be snug but not properly clamped. All I needed to do was add a larger heavy washer next to the adjuster device. As you can see in the pic I now have about 2 threads extending beyond the nut.
I know all of our bikes are different and the tolerance stack-ups will vary widely but adding a washer for my situation helped keep everything tight and in place.
Good luck!
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File Type: jpg 919AxleWasher.jpg (222.7 KB, 13 views)
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post #7 of 16 Unread 09-17-2019, 04:59 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks guys, I do think that keeping the axle nut snug and continually banging the tire forward may have solved it.

2007 919
2003 CBR1100XX
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post #8 of 16 Unread 09-17-2019, 05:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ditch View Post
Thanks guys, I do think that keeping the axle nut snug and continually banging the tire forward may have solved it.
That's pretty much what I do.
There must be a reason why there is so much freeplay in those adjusters?

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post #9 of 16 Unread 09-17-2019, 06:49 PM
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While we're on the subject of chains, I was wondering what the purpose of these are:
https://www.motosport.com/product/?a...0013-X001-Y014

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post #10 of 16 Unread 09-17-2019, 06:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islandboy View Post
That's pretty much what I do.
There must be a reason why there is so much freeplay in those adjusters?
It's odd that with all the vibration you'd get there that they wouldn't put a simple lock nut on there.

Given how often we adjust the chain, makes you wonder if the chain really changes that much ever few hundred miles, yet we're able to get 20,000 + miles out of it. Does it really need to be adjusted 40,000 times over it's 20,000 mile life?

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post #11 of 16 Unread 09-17-2019, 08:38 PM
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Nice find. But I'm sure there are no aftermarket axle adjustment blocks for the 919.
Honda must have a reason to engineer so must freeplay into the adjusters.

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post #12 of 16 Unread 09-17-2019, 10:39 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Islandboy View Post
That's pretty much what I do.
There must be a reason why there is so much freeplay in those adjusters?
I don't know, the other Japanese bike that use two wrenches on one bolt are so much better but whatever. I looked into some aftermarket ones but haven't found any.

2007 919
2003 CBR1100XX
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post #13 of 16 Unread 09-17-2019, 11:01 PM
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You might be able to pop that circlip off and put a washer there behind it. To pack out the gap?

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post #14 of 16 Unread 09-18-2019, 03:29 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ditch View Post
I don't know, the other Japanese bike that use two wrenches on one bolt are so much better but whatever. I looked into some aftermarket ones but haven't found any.
Two wrenches on one bolt means a lock nut?

I described my solution above... A thin nut and washer that goes on the thread near the swing arm.


Once you have the chain adjusted where you want it, you tighten up the nut against the swing arm and that holds it tight.

All you have to do is find out what the thread pitch/size is and find a nut to fit on there. The washer helps to keep the swing arm from getting gouged up over time.

You fit a wrench in there to loosen it up, adjust as needed, tighten back up when done. 15~20 lbs of torque should hold it just fine. Total cost of maybe $5.


Basically, this: https://www.chapmoto.com/bolt-hardwa...hoCy4YQAvD_BwE

It has the washer built in, I'd like a separate flat washer. The nut goes on the inside and torques against the swing arm.

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post #15 of 16 Unread 10-13-2019, 10:47 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KarlJay View Post
Two wrenches on one bolt means a lock nut?

I described my solution above... A thin nut and washer that goes on the thread near the swing arm.


Once you have the chain adjusted where you want it, you tighten up the nut against the swing arm and that holds it tight.

All you have to do is find out what the thread pitch/size is and find a nut to fit on there. The washer helps to keep the swing arm from getting gouged up over time.

You fit a wrench in there to loosen it up, adjust as needed, tighten back up when done. 15~20 lbs of torque should hold it just fine. Total cost of maybe $5.


Basically, this: https://www.chapmoto.com/bolt-hardwa...hoCy4YQAvD_BwE

It has the washer built in, I'd like a separate flat washer. The nut goes on the inside and torques against the swing arm.
Do you have a picture of one on your bike?

2007 919
2003 CBR1100XX
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post #16 of 16 Unread 10-14-2019, 05:26 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ditch View Post
Do you have a picture of one on your bike?
I haven't done this yet. My bike is my sole transportation right now as the other cars/trucks are non-op.

I'd have to take the bolt down and find a thin nut that fits and I just haven't gotten around to it.

If you just look at where the adjustment bolt goes into the swing arm, that's where you'd put a thin nut. That thin nut would lock against the swing arm once you find the proper adjustment point.

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